Each year the National Book Foundation, with support from the Levenger Foundation, awards the Innovations in Reading Prize, a $10,000 prize awarded to an individual or organization that has developed an innovative project which creates and sustains a lifelong love of reading in the community they serve.
The winner of the 2018 Innovations in Reading Prize is the Academy of American Poets and its Teach This Poem project, a weekly publication for K-12 educators that empowers teachers and students to make poetry an integral part of the educational experience. In addition to the winner, the Innovations in Reading Prize also identifies four honorable mentions each year. For the first year, these organizations will be awarded with $1,000 to recognize their meaningful work. The 2018 honorable mentions are the Appalachian Prison Book Project, Friends of the Homer Library, Jewish Women International’s National Library Initiative, and Words Without Borders Campus.
For more details about this year’s winner, the honorable mentions, or the Innovations in Reading Prize, please contact Jordan Smith: [email protected]
ACADEMY OF AMERICAN POETS and its TEACH THIS POEM project
The Academy of American Poets launched Teach This Poem in 2015 as a free resource that helps teachers and students actively integrate poetry into their educational lives. With over 27,000 teachers subscribed, Teach This Poem digitally distributes a weekly poem accompanied by unique curriculum and related teaching materials such as artwork, maps, and photographs curated by the Academy staff and their Educator in Residence, Dr. Mady Holzer. Poems are selected to address timely topics, and classroom activities are designed to provide cross-disciplinary strategies for incorporating poetry into daily school work and encourage not only the appreciation of poetry, but also the development of creative and critical thinking skills.
Academy of American Poets: www.poets.org
Teach This Poem: www.poets.org/poetsorg/teach-poem
APPALACHIAN PRISON BOOK PROJECT
The Appalachian Prison Book Project sends free books to incarcerated people in six states in the Appalachian region and facilitates books clubs and reading programs run with West Virginia University faculty and graduate students.
JEWISH WOMEN INTERNATIONAL’S NATIONAL LIBRARY INITIATIVE
Jewish Women International’s National Library Initiative has opened 70 children’s libraries in domestic violence shelters throughout the country since 2005, providing safe and stable literary environments for mothers and families.
FRIENDS OF THE HOMER LIBRARY
Friends of the Homer Library, based in Homer, Alaska, reaches out to communities without easy access to the library’s resources, including outreach to Old Russian Believer families in remote villages outside the Homer area, whose schools do not have school libraries.
WORDS WITHOUT BORDERS CAMPUS
Words Without Borders Campus facilitates the building of cultural understanding through contemporary international literature with a free, online resource available to students and educators that features English translations of international texts.